Afro-Germans, African-Germans or Black Germans are defined as the Black African community and diaspora in Germany.

Historic backgrounds vary; so does allocation: in particular, cities like Hamburg and Berlin have substantial grown Black communities, with a high percentage of ethnically mixed families; modern traffic and trade is further changing the communities in additional areas like Frankfurt or Cologne.

The current status of people of African descent in Germany is still overshadowed by Germany's colonial history, which is still mostly being suppressed. For centuries, the domiciled African diaspora in Germany is either being ignored or seen from a narrow perspective.


Africans have been known to Germany since the pre-Christian times of the Roman Empire.

Holy Roman Empire

In 926 the Nubian Saint Maurice became a patron saint of the Holy Roman Emperors and has been honored in various sculptures and graphics throughout Germany: City of Coburg's Coats of Arms or a sculpture in Magdeburg.

Afro-Germans in Germany since 1600

The first German salesmen, missionaries and travelers came to Africa around 1600. The first Africans that they brought back home worked as aids for households or businesses. Most were living in situations comparable to their German-born work mates. Ghana-born Anton Wilhelm Amo became the first African to attend a European university during the 1720s and taught and wrote in philosophy - sponsored by a German duke.

Afro-Germans in Germany between 1884 and 1945

The epoch of German Imperialism falls into the time of the German Empire. At the 1884 Berliner Congo conference, attended by all major powers of the day, Africa was divided under European powers. The erection of the German colonies was a precondition for larger number of Africans to enter Germany for the first time. The running of the German colonies demanded domestic specialists for the colonial administration and economy. Many young Africans came to Germany to be educated. Some of them received higher education at German schools and universities but the majority were trained at mission training and colonial training centers as officers or domestic mission teachers. Africans were frequently used as interpreters for African languages at German-Africa research centers or came to Germany as former members of the German protection troops, the Askari.

Many of these Africans, who came as young men or youth to Germany, remained for the duration of their adult lives, establishing families and careers.

Rhineland Bastards:"see Rhineland Bastards for main article"

During the tempestuous years following the First World War, the French Army occupied the Rhineland, utilising African soldiers amongst their forces. Their children were known as "Rhineland Bastards". As their name suggests, they were subject to much racial discrimination.

Weimar Republic

After Germany's defeat in World War I, the British and French took control of the African colonies. The situation for Afro-Germans and their families changed in various ways. For example Africans possessed a colonial German identification card, now a status, that expelled them as "members of the former protectorates". After the Treaty of Versailles, the Africans should become citizens of the respective mandate countries. Still most Afro-Germans preferred to stay, for the standard of living and since they lived in part already over several years (and decades). In numerous petitions (above all for Togo in P. Sebald and Cameroon in A. Rüger well documented) they also tried to inform the German public about the conditions in the colonies.

To the numerous political activities of Africans belonged the foundation of a bilingual periodical that should appear in German and Duala and carried the title 'Elolombe ya Cameroon' (Sun of Cameroon). A political group of Africans established the German branch of a Paris-based human rights organization: "the German section of the League to the Defense of the Negro Race".

Many of the Africans encountered the Great Depression in Germany with no claim for unemployment compensation as this was tied to German citizenship. Some Africans were however supported through a small budget from the German Foreign Office.

Nazi Germany

The conditions for Afro-Germans and their families got steadily more difficult during the National Socialistic dictatorship. Naturalized Afro-Germans lost their passports. Working conditions and travel were made extremely difficult for Black musicians, variety, circus or film professionals.

Based on a racist propaganda, it was impossible even for willing employers to retain black employees. To become invisible with the evident visibility and compulsion had become less a life condition than an act of balance.

The politics of Nazi Germany and its authorities vis-à-vis those Afro-Germans appear extremely contradictory and irrational. Secret discussions of Nazi functionaries speculated about the possibility of winning Africans from former German colonies for a pro-German colonial propaganda, for the Nazis planned an "African colonial empire under German predominance". The total legislation for a planned apartheid-like system existed in the design already in 1940, including laws for slaves and an African passport design. Nazi Germany never approached the realization of its colonial dreams.

Next to isolation as a Black person, the worst forms of terror for Afro-Germans were compulsory sterilization or rendition to concentration camps. Despite these circumstances, Afro-Germans did receive some solidarity and support from Germans during these times.

"For more information see Rhineland Bastard""For the biography of a black African in Germany under Nazi rule see also Hans Massaquoi"

Afro-Germans in Germany since 1945

The end of World War II brought Allied occupation forces onto German soil of which numerous soldiers were of African American, Afro-Caribbean or African descent. More than 100,000 U.S. soldiers were to remain on German soil till the present day. These men established their lives in Germany and either brought families with them or founded new ones with German wives and children.

From the late 1980s and onwards, Germany experienced large numbers of political asylum seekers and immigrants from African states.

"For more information see Immigration to Germany".

Modern Germany

Politics and social life

* Hans Massaquoi Journalist, has written about his childhood in Nazi Germany.

Art, culture, and music

The cultural life of Afro-Germans has multifarious aspects and strive in its variety and complexity. With the emerge of MTV and Viva an increased globalized "ethnicifiation" of mainly American pop culture further promoted Afro-German representation in German media and culture.

The "May Ayim Award" is the first international black German literature prize was an attempt to premiere black German culture in the realm of cultural institutions like the Haus der Kulturen der Welt. The award sculpture, "Black Germania", was designed by Stephen Lawson. The award was initiated by Michael Küppers-Adebisi from CyberNomads, the largest black German media network. Entries from four continents made it a pan-African award for the international black diaspora. The event took place under the aegis of the German UNESCO and Linton Kwesi Johnson. The gala event presenting the winners was moderated by Adetoun Küppers-Adebisi in German, English, and Yoruba.

Black African rap musicians in Germany include:

* Advanced Chemistry and "Fremd im eigenen Land"
* Afrob
* D-Flame
* Samy Deluxe
* Manuellsen
* Cassandra Steen
* Kalusha
* Haddaway
* Taktlo$$
* Deso Dogg
* Harris
* DJ Desue
* Tyron Rickets
* Jonesmann
* Chima
* Torch
* B-Tight

RnB and Soul singers:

* Joy Denalane
* Nadja Benaissa
* Francisca Urio
* Shemario Winfrey
* Mark Medlock
* Jessica Wahls
* Rob Pilatus

Rock musicians

*Joachim Deutschland


The "SFD - Schwarze Filmschaffende in Deutschland" ("Black Artists in German Film") is a professional association based in Berlin for directors, producers, screenwriters, and actors who are Afro-Germans or of African origin and living in Germany.

* Liz Baffoe
* Carol Campbell (actress)
* Anne Benza-Madingou (writer)
* Araba Walton (actress)
* Nisma Cherrat (actress)
* Philippa Ebéné (writer)
* Winta Yohannes (director)


* Otto Addo
* Dennis Aogo
* Stephan Arigbabu
* Gerald Asamoah
* Anthony Baffoe
* Collin Benjamin
* Jérôme Boateng
* Kevin-Prince Boateng
* Jerome Crews
* Célia Okoyino da Mbabi
* Bakary Diakite
* Matthias Fahrig
* Rodrique Funke
* Kamghe Gaba
* Demond Greene
* Jermaine Jones
* Erwin Kostedde
* David Odonkor
* Ademola Okulaja
* Navina Omilade
* Patrick Owomoyela
* David Odonkor
* Robin Szolkowy
* Assimiou Toure
* Jimmy Hartwig
* Erwin Kostedde

External links

* [ African Union Diaspora Committee Deutschland Zentralrat der Afrikanischen Diaspora Deutschland mit Mandat der Afrikanischen Union ]
* [ May Ayim Award - The 1st Black German International Literature Award]
* [ Initiative Schwarze Menschen in Deutschland]
* [,0,0,Afrikanische_Diaspora_in_Deutschland.html African Diaspora in Germany] De icon
* [ cyberNomads - The Black German Databank Network and Media Channel Our Knowledge Resource on the Net]
* [ SFD – Schwarze Filmschaffende in Deutschland]

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